Boozy Bri­tons! How we down 108 bot­tles of wine each a year

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Ben Spencer Med­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

BRI­TONS drink more al­co­hol and are more likely to be obese than peo­ple in other rich na­tions, a re­port re­vealed last night.

The UK con­sumes 9.7 litres of pure al­co­hol per adult a year, nearly a litre more than the av­er­age 8.9 litres for the 36 coun­tries of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD).

That is the equiv­a­lent per adult of 108 bot­tles of wine or 427 pints of beer.

Al­though al­co­hol con­sump­tion in the UK has come down from 11.1 litres a decade ago, we still drink more than coun­tries such as Aus­tralia, the US, New Zealand, Spain and Italy.

We drink less, how­ever, than France’s 11.7 litres a year and Ger­many’s 10.9 litres, says the re­port, which is based on al­co­hol sales.

The OECD re­port Health At A

Glance, which ex­am­ines health trends and health­care sys­tems across mem­ber states, also high­lights obe­sity rates in the UK – 64 per cent of adults are over­weight or obese, com­pared with an OECD av­er­age of 56 per cent. While smok­ing rates are be­low av­er­age ‘many British peo­ple lead un­healthy life­styles’, the re­port said.

Ex­perts last night blamed a British cul­ture which still cen­tres on al­co­hol. Dr Richard Piper, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Al­co­hol Change UK, said: ‘Our drink­ing habits are caus­ing more and more harm.

‘Hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions re­lated to al­co­hol and al­co­hol-re­lated deaths are both on the rise. Al­co­hol is ev­ery­where: at work events, at home when we’re try­ing to re­lax, there when we cel­e­brate, there when we’re try­ing to cope. It’s easy for us to fall into habits of drink­ing more than we know is good for us – of­ten more than we re­ally want to.’

Dr Tony Rao, of the Ad­dic­tions Fac­ulty at the Royal Col­lege of Psy­chi­a­trists added: ‘It is alarm­ing that we are not ad­dress­ing the harm be­ing caused by al­co­hol, es­pe­cially in older drinkers.’

Richard Fer­nan­dez, head of pol­icy at the In­sti­tute of Al­co­hol Stud­ies, said: ‘It’s time for the Gov­ern­ment to take this se­ri­ously, with a strat­egy that in­cludes min­i­mum unit pric­ing.’

But the in­dus­try-funded Al­co­hol In­for­ma­tion Part­ner­ship said: ‘The amount of al­co­hol peo­ple drink in the UK has been fall­ing for more than a decade – peo­ple are lead­ing more bal­anced life­styles, es­pe­cially among younger gen­er­a­tions.’

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